June 27, 2021 | 8 min reading time

Google Shopping ads require an investment of your time and money, and you don’t want to waste either one of them. As such, Google Shopping Ads optimization is all about making the best out of what you have and getting great results from your ad campaigns. There are lots of metrics that tell you how well your Google ads are performing such as:

  • Amount of revenue
  • Amount of profit
  • ROAS
  • Number of impressions
  • Number of clicks

The challenge is how to get all those numbers up! It’s really not much of a mystery. Marketers have been working on these strategies for years, and we’ve got some great Google Shopping Ads optimization tips and techniques to help you breathe life into your Google Shopping ads campaigns.  

Limit Networks

Google tries to make things easy for you by setting up default networks. Most often, default settings are fine as long as they work to your advantage. When it comes to Google Shopping Ads optimization, Google tries to help you out by checking boxes for YouTube and Discover on the Display Network and search partners.  

What do those default settings do for you? For YouTube and Discover on the Display Network, your Shopping ads will display on YouTube or third-party sites. The problem with that is that a lot of people will see your ads, but they’re not part of your target audience. Remember the whole reason for optimization is not wasting money. 

What about Google search partners? Google will display your Shopping ads on their search partner sites like Walmart. The problem is that when you’re first starting your campaigns, you’ll want to get an idea of the baseline performance of your campaigns. That will be tough to do when you have the search partners box checked. 

In this case, Google isn’t doing you any favors. It’s best to switch these defaults off if you want to boost your Google Shopping Ads optimization and get more bang for your buck.

Google Shopping Ads Optimization: Watch Out for the Campaign Structure

When we’re talking about your Google campaign structure, it’s much like it sounds. It refers to how you set up and organize your different campaigns. For example, your structure includes how many ad campaigns you set up, how you categorize items, and which items go into the different ad groups. 

The structure is important because campaign optimization requires you to have as much control over your ads as possible. The right structure will allow you to bid appropriately for different products — not too much and not too little. And, you want your ads to appear before a relevant audience. Your structure takes care of that too.   

Structures can take different forms. We’ve got 4 of them for you to check out:

  1. One all-encompassing campaign. 

This one is simple. Set up one ad group and one product group. Put all of your products into that ad group. If you want to raise your cost-per-click, you have to raise it for all products. The downside is that you won’t be able to optimize the products that are performing best and you’re apt to lose money on low-performers. It’s a fair option if you’re short on time for Google Shopping campaign optimization. 

  1. Multiple product groups and a single Google Shopping campaign.

Ready for a little more structure? Start separating your products into groups based on their attributes. Google allows you to group them in these ways:

  • Category
  • Item ID
  • Brand
  • Condition
  • Channel
  • Channel exclusivity
  • Product Type
  • Custom labels

With this Google Shopping campaign optimization structure, you can also create multiple levels. How? Subdivide your products by product type, then divide them by their brands. Subdivide them on the third level by their item IDs. 

Once it’s set up, set your bids based on the category, brand, or individual item ID. The beauty of this structure is that you get a little control and a lot of simplicity. 

  1. Run multiple campaigns with different products. 

You could also run various campaigns based on the attributes we listed in the second structure described above. Use an inventory filter to include just part of your product offering and you can have different shopping campaigns based on the category, brand, or type of product. Do you have a few best-sellers? Set up a custom label for them and put them in a group of their own. Because you can set a specific budget for each campaign, you can easily increase your budget for top-selling products. 

  1. Run multiple campaigns with all the same products. 

The key to this structure is to make multiple campaigns identical but target a specific set of search queries with each one. Set your max CPC for each campaign based on how valuable a search term is. 

Marketers use this structure to split branded search queries from generic ones. Raise your max CPCs in your branded shopping campaigns and drop your max CPCs in your generic campaigns. That’s optimizing Google Shopping campaigns at its finest!

Optimize Google Shopping Campaigns Around Purchase Intent

As you consider the customer buying cycle, buyers usually need to see your ads a few times before they’re ready to buy. You can draw out the best traffic by combining multiple shopping campaigns with specific keyword lists. That gives you a good shot at increasing sales without compromising revenue. With this Google Shopping optimization campaign strategy, you can spend more on prospects that are the most likely to convert.  

Optimizing Your Shopping Feed

What’s next? Fix all errors and warnings in the Google Merchant Center, especially those that pertain to product identifiers. 

Unlike other types of ad campaigns, Google Shopping campaigns don’t utilize keywords. Google pulls the products they display based on the shopping feed details. Improving the data in your feed will make your ads more visible. 

We’ve got 6 tips for tweaking your shopping feed for better Google Shopping Ads optimization:

Optimize your product title

Google gives your product titles a fair bit of weight. Put the most important words first in your titles. Don’t skimp on a lame title either. Make them interesting, unique, accurate, and descriptive. One more tip, word them closely to the title tag of the product page. 

Price items competitively

Google likes a bargain just like everyone else. Low prices get Google’s attention, but be careful not to price yourself out of the market. Avoid common Merchant Center errors by checking to see that prices are properly formatted, and keep your prices and currency up to date.

Optimize your product images

Google is pretty smart. They know that viewers want to know how consumers are using products. You can get more attention in a Google search when an image has an aspirational feature and they depict people using it.

Optimize product descriptions

We know Google is big on character count. The best product descriptions have from 500-1,000 characters. You’ll get the best results when optimizing Google Shopping campaigns by researching keywords and implementing them in your product descriptions. Your search terms report will tell you if you have the top keywords listed.  

Optimize product reviews and ratings

Reviews are a hot commodity, as 91% of people read reviews before buying a product and 84% of people trust reviews as much as a recommendation from a friend. Optimizing your reviews should have a positive impact on your results. 

Add a Global Trade Item Number

A Global Trade Item Number, also known as GTIN, identifies products globally. GTINs are based on the type of product and their location. 

Here are some specs on GTINs:

  • ISBN (13 digits) used for books
  • UPC (12 digits) used in North America
  • EAN  (13 digits) used in Europe
  • JAN (8 or 13 digits) used in Japan
  • ITF-14 (14 digits) used for multipacks

It’s just one more route to campaign optimization. 

Optimize Campaigns with Promotions

Google Shopping Ads give your existing promotions a boost. Promotions are popular on search engines too. Use words like “special offer” or “limited time offer” and set up your ads so users can see all the details when someone mouses over the offer. As a tip, use a special promo code. It works the same as a personalized coupon. Customers get a discount and you won’t incur any extra fees for running a promotion. Words that have a proven track record are:

  • Buy one, get one free
  • Free shipping
  • Certain percent off

Here’s the best news yet. Google Shopping Ads optimization isn’t difficult. It takes a bit of time and research, and we’ve shared a lot of knowledge right here. Overall, the more you improve your campaign optimization skills, the more you will see an improvement in your Google Shopping Ads performance.  Get good enough and you might even become one of the top advertisers on Google, and wouldn’t that be awesome!   

When it comes to Google Shopping Ads optimization, the changes you make don’t need to be huge. Little tweaks in just the right places can often bring you huge results. At ClickGUARD, we know just where to make those tweaks, so check out our blog or give us a call today. 

Jason is the CMO @ ClickGUARD. He is passionate about all things PPC, SEO and has extensive customer acquisition experience. When not writing about SEM he can be found surfing the wildest ocean waves of the South American coast.